I know, I know: He hasn't actually gone anywhere. He's still writing comics, still posting away at warrenellis.com and all the usual social media outlets.
But long gone are the days of the Warren Ellis Forum, Come in Alone, Bad Signal, Do Anything. Gone is the constant railing against the comics status quo, the clever instigation of grassroots comics activism, the never-ending pursuit of the next great idea.
Warren Ellis was relentless in the development of new ideas. He gave us Planetary. He gave us The Authority. He gave us Transmetropolitan.
Ministry of Space. Red. Orbiter. Doktor Sleepless. Global Frequency. No Hero. Desolation Jones. Ocean. Strange Kiss. Black Summer. Fell.
If you wanted comics that reveled in the pure joy of creation, that reclaimed the term "all-new and all different" from the superhero factories built simultaneously on constant reinvention and the illusion of change, Warren Ellis was a true hero, one of the greatest and most uncompromising friends this medium has ever had.
And he was repaid for that dedication and friendship with the stubborn reluctance of comicdom assembled to move forward. So we continue to crawl along, still living by the three R's (Revamp, Relaunch, Renumber) and wondering baby, baby, where did the sales go.
New ideas are the fuel that keep comics fresh. Warren Ellis generated them like it was second nature. Warren Ellis challenged comics readers everywhere until it became clear many – if not most – of them really just wanted multiple versions of the same thing and Hollywood's shimmering stamp of approval on their favorite superheroes.
So he left.
I know, I know: He's doing Secret Avengers with Jamie McKelvie over at Marvel, and he's developing Half Moon with Mike Oeming. He has projects here and there, but it's not the same. His few remaining comics projects aside, he has taken his talents – and make no mistake, they are considerable – elsewhere. He's still here, but he's not, and there's a bloody great gap that isn't likely to be replaced anytime soon.
I miss Warren Ellis.